BT West One



By Tom Dickson

THIRD-placed Garnock travelled to Lanarkshire to play fourth-placed East Kilbride in what proved to be a tight match.

Garnock started the game and camped well inside the home half. EK kicked a penalty award to their 10 metre line.

The visitors won the lineout through Jonny Watson and forced their way towards the try line.

Their reward was a penalty at the 32 metres area. Keir Walker duly converted and in four minutes Garnock were 3-0 ahead.

The lead was short-lived when Ethan Aitken replied in kind. Six minutes played and it was 3-3.

EK were beginning to get on top and only some staunch Garnock defence kept the scores even. However, in 13 minutes, Callum Simpson broke through the lax tackling to score in a well-rehearsed EK move at the posts. Aitken converted to push EK ahead 10-3 ahead.

Play continued as before, with neither side able to gain the upper hand. This was mainly due to good defence and poor handling, interspersed by too many penalties being conceded by both squads.

In 24 minutes, Garnock’s Jordan Taggart was fed the ball on the halfway line and broke through, but was stopped short close to the try line.

For the next 10 minutes, play was dull and the EK number three was sin-binned for illegal scrummaging.

This spurred Garnock on and it was no surprise that they levelled in 38 minutes when Walker scored from the base of the scrum after eluding several tacklers. He converted the try and the half came to an end at 10-10.

The second half started with EK looking much the better side and six minutes later, they went ahead when Aiden Stocks rounded off the best running move of the game so far to score a well worked try half-way out. Aitken converted.

Garnock took the initiative after that score and pressed towards the EK 22 metre area. The gained a penalty and chose to go for a touch. From the put-in, Fraser Miller peeled off and scored a try near the touchline.

The difficult conversion was missed, but the score narrowed to 17-15 after 50 minutes.

Garnock kept the pressure on the EK squad and were rewarded with another penalty in 59 minutes. One of the EK players kicked the ball away and the referee added on 10 metres and the difficult kick turned in to an easier one which Walker converted. Finally, Garnock were 18-17 ahead.

EK defended well but as the penalty count mounted exponentially, the referee took action by yellow-carding the EK number eight and the Garnock number 12 in separate incidents.

Garnock looked the much better side with Matt Shiells having two powerful runs inside the EK half to emphasise this. The Garnock defence was not put under any serious pressure.

In the final minute, Fraser Brocket scored at the posts. Chris Neill converted.

This victory keeps Garnock in third position with the possibility of moving to second, depending on the result of the last games. Tonight (Wednesday) Garnock play Kilmarnock away with 7pm kick-off and Irvine away on Saturday, again away with a 3pm kick-off.

GARNOCK: Shiells; O’Neill, Wynn, McGeachy, Watson, A Miller, DR Miller, Wilson, Walker, Neill, F. Brocket, Reekie, Taggart, Johnston, Richmond, R Brocket, D Miller, F Miller and A Brocket.